While it may be hard to imagine when you are watching the dogs run and play, it is not complete chaos. We do have a few rules for the dogs.  One of those rules is that they aren’t allowed to  be a “Third Wheel”. A “Third Wheel” is basically a third dog that wants to get in on the play that two dog have already started.

Play between dogs is best when it is just 2 at a time.  If you watch 2 dogs wrestle, you’ll start to see their game has natural ebbs and flows. They will wrestle for a bit and then take a break.  Often that break lasts only a second and the dogs just pause briefly. Other times, it last a little longer and one dog might even get up and have a drink before coming back to the game.  These breaks are the dogs’ way of making sure that the play doesn’t keep getting more and more excited.  Essentially, it keeps their game of play fighting as just that, a game.

Third Wheel 1 2 Daycare Rules   Third Wheeling

One of the problems with a “Third Wheel” is that they tend to jump in during the breaks. So while one dog in the original pair is taking a break, the other dog is now busy wrestling with someone else so they don’t get any down time.  Eventually the dog that is constantly wrestling is going to have himself quite worked up, or the opposite might start to happen, and the dog might start to feel overwhelmed.  Either way, it isn’t a good situation.

The other problem with Third Wheeling is that it can take the balanced play of two dogs and bump it up over the edge of fun and into the “not so fun” category.  So in the case of the image below, Chuck and Rex are wrestling and Sako has tried to jump in to play with Rex at the same time.  In this case, Rex didn’t seem to notice or mind and I stopped Sako right after I saw it start to happen so that it stayed that way. If I’d been paying better attention, I would have noticed him coming up on the two of them and called him away and distracted him before he even had a chance to nibble on Rex’s back leg.

Third Wheel 1 Daycare Rules   Third Wheeling

Poor Sako. He is getting picked on in this blog post, but he isn’t alone in his third wheeling activities. It is something we are CONSTANTLY watching for and CONSTANTLY stopping.  Two dogs playing can be quite exciting to the other dogs and you can’t blame them for wanting in on the fun. The key is to direct them towards another dog that is also in the mood to play or to distract them until the wrestling match is over and then they can take on the “winner” in the next bout.

Third Wheel 1 3 Daycare Rules   Third Wheeling

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The Whole Picture

April 22, 2013

If any of you have ever been to any seminars on dog behaviour or ever done any reading on the subject, you’ll know that it is important to look at the whole picture when it comes to trying to interpret body language.  It is easy to say that a dog is angry or about to bite when you can see all their teeth like Gertie is displaying.

Gertie 1 The Whole Picture

But at the moment this image was taken, nothing could be further from the truth.  Gertie was having an absolute blast playing with Sako.  This is what she looks like when she is having fun, not when she is angry.

Gertie 1 3 The Whole Picture

If she was angry, her nose would have been all wrinkled up, her eyes would have been hard, her body would have been stiff and there probably would have been some noise backing it all up. She also wouldn’t have looked like gumby just a few seconds later.

Gertie 1 2 The Whole Picture

Oh and if this had been a fight in the making, the daycare employee wouldn’t have been just sitting there watching with a smile on their face.  :)

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And We Are Back

April 20, 2013

I lost my blogging mojo there for a while.  Not completely sure why, but mainly because Facebook just makes it so darn quick and easy to share stuff, it is kind of hard to beat.

But the other day I was reading through some older posts and I realized that I really miss the blog.  It is a great chronological history for Paws on the Run and by reading through I can remember dogs that have come and gone and what things have changed over the years.  So I’m going to try and blog more. It definitely won’t be daily, but hopefully it will be at least weekly.  I’m not going to put any pressure on myself as that just kind of sucks the fun right out of it and it has to be fun, as I don’t have time to blog while I’m at work, so it is all done “on the side” so to speak.

Blog 1 And We Are Back

Ideally what I hope to do is bring my camera to work at least once a week and take enough photos for more than one blog post. So if you see some of the same dogs in the pictures in consecutive blog posts, you know why.  Every time I take my camera to work, I end up with a few hours of “extra” work (downloading, culling, editing, etc.) so it isn’t something I can do daily.

Blog 2 And We Are Back

We try and feature everyone’s dog but there are certain times and days that makes taking pictures more difficult.  I generally take the photos and Amanda helps out a lot but there are times we aren’t  there.  So for example if your dog comes Tuesday mornings, odds are, they aren’t featured on facebook very often and they will rarely be featured on the blog because I don’t work Tuesday mornings on a regular basis.  Some days are “wilder” than others and keeping an eye on things and taking photos isn’t always possible so the camera tends to come out during the quieter times and some days there aren’t any quieter times.  LOL.

Blog 3 And We Are Back

So I’m sorry if you don’t see your dog on the blog very often or other dogs seem to show up more than most.  It isn’t favouritism, it’s just timing.  Featuring every dog is something I stress about ALL THE TIME and I’ve decided I just need to let it go, or it’ll suck the fun right back out of things again. For example, you’ll notice that the blog posts that come up this week will all feature large dogs. That is because they were all taken within a 30 minute period on a single day and I happened to be hanging out with the big rowdy kids during that period. Some of them weren’t doing much doing those 30 minutes, some were playing too far away for decent pictures and others were wrestling constantly 6 feet away from me.  If I’d had the camera out an hour earlier or an hour later, I would have had photos of different dogs. I never know who or what I’m going to get.  I try and not make the camera = fun time or they all start to lose their minds with excitement when they see it.  Been there, done that. icon smile And We Are Back So if your dog is resting while I’m taking pictures, I’m not going to tell him it’s party time.

Blog 1 2 And We Are Back

That being said, I’ll try and bring my camera on different days each week and try and try and switch up taking photos in the mornings or afternoons. icon smile And We Are Back

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Bulldog vs. Mastiff

November 27, 2012

Despite their size difference Tonka and Chuck are GREAT friends.  They love to wrestle and Chuck often lets Tonka believe he has the strength to get him to the ground and pin him there.  :)

ChuckTonka 1 Bulldog vs. Mastiff

ChuckTonka 2 Bulldog vs. Mastiff

ChuckTonka 3 Bulldog vs. Mastiff

ChuckTonka 4 Bulldog vs. Mastiff

ChuckTonka 5 Bulldog vs. Mastiff

ChuckTonka 6 Bulldog vs. Mastiff

ChuckTonka 7 Bulldog vs. Mastiff

ChuckTonka 8 Bulldog vs. Mastiff

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Muoi 1 Big Sister vs. Little Brother

Muoi (the husky) and Hunter (the dachshund) are siblings that LOVE each other.  We keep a very close eye on dogs playing when their sizes are so different, but in the case of siblings, they usually have already worked out their “rules”.

Muoi 2 Big Sister vs. Little Brother

This play session probably lasted a solid 5 to 10 minutes and not a single yelp, growl or yip was heard out of either of them.  As a rule, silent play, is very good play!  It means that it is balanced and that neither dog is feeling at all overwhelmed or intimidated.  That isn’t to say that some noise during play is bad (some dogs constantly make noises and some games (like the “bitey face” game always involves noise) but silent play is almost always good.

Muoi 3 Big Sister vs. Little Brother

At the other end of the spectrum, if you’ve ever witnessed a dog fight, you’ll probably remember the loud noises that accompanied it.  Escalating noise between two dogs playing is usually a sign that the play is moving beyond fun and rambunctious and is always a sign for us to step in and give the dogs a short break, if they don’t initiate the break themselves.  Often even just a few seconds of rest can make a huge difference.

Muoi 4 Big Sister vs. Little Brother

If you are interested in learning more about dog behaviour during play, here is a great article about what to look for.  We couldn’t agree more with what she has to say about “Third Wheels”!

Muoi 5 Big Sister vs. Little Brother

And just because I had lots of photos of these two, I figured I might as well post them.  Enjoy!

Muoi 6 Big Sister vs. Little Brother

Muoi 7 Big Sister vs. Little Brother

Muoi 8 Big Sister vs. Little Brother

Muoi 9 Big Sister vs. Little Brother

Muoi 10 Big Sister vs. Little Brother

Muoi 11 Big Sister vs. Little Brother

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The Game on the Chair

October 1, 2012

So I’m pretty sure the game started when Baloo decided he was tired of being the short one.

Baloo 4 The Game on the Chair

The chair didn’t really help once Mya hopped up there with him though.

Baloo 2 The Game on the Chair

Baloo The Game on the Chair

After playing “Bitey Face” for a bit, Baloo moved onto the game of “Squish”.

Baloo 3 The Game on the Chair

They then decided to see who had the bigger mouth.

Baloo 5 The Game on the Chair

I think it was a tie.

Baloo 6 The Game on the Chair

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As most of you know, Amanda has a ‘few’ dogs and she offered to let me take pictures of them for Bionic.  We opted for more green grass and met this time at Henderson Lake.  The nice thing about working is with a dog trainer’s dogs is that they are pretty well behaved and we didn’t need to worry about them running off to visit with the people or other dogs walking by.

First up is Brit.  I tend to think of Brit as a fairly serious dog but she was nothing but gleeful during our photo session.

Favs 17 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

Favs 18 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

Favs 19 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

And then there was Pixel… Oh my.  You can’t help but notice her gorgeous eyes when you meet her, but they are never more expressive than when she is playing.

Favs 20 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

Favs 21 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

Favs 22 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

Favs 23 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

Favs 24 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

Favs 25 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

Last but not least of Amanda’s dogs that came to “model” is Boone.  He is a very unique dog – in looks and personality.  His quirkiness is what I love most about him though.

Favs 26 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

Favs 27 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

Favs 28 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

I didn’t set out to get any “official” photos of my own dogs but I always bring a toy with us on a walk and seeing as these were just hanging out in the car, I figured I’d bring one of them as our fetch toy.  Coulee didn’t seem to mind.  ;)

Favs 33 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

Favs 34 Bionic Toys   Part 4 {Lethbridge Pet Photography}

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I got off to a late start with Sadie one night and all we ended up having time for was some silhouettes.  We literally had about 5 minutes before the sun went down so poor Sadie had to go, go, go so we could get some shots.  Thankfully she is a terrier and “go, go, go” is her middle name.

Favs 1 3 Bionic Toys   Part 3 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Sadie 1 Bionic Toys   Part 3 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Sadie 1 2 Bionic Toys   Part 3 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Kaycee and Piper were my dynamic duo… They love to carry toys back together while at daycare and I was really hoping they would do that at the dog park to0.  And they didn’t disappoint, in fact they gave me exactly what I was hoping for!

Favs 35 Bionic Toys   Part 3 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 36 Bionic Toys   Part 3 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 37 Bionic Toys   Part 3 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

The last instalment of Bionic pictures are coming up tomorrow!  You’ll get to meet some of Amanda’s pups as well as my own dog Coulee.

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Next up was Catch.  He was such a trooper!  He dealt with a tonne of distractions and still managed to give me some good shots.  He even braved the cold river for me!  I love the way every dog had their own personality and “style”.  I never knew what I was going to get, and every dog reacted to the toys differently.  Some loved the frisbee, others preferred the bone or ball.  Often, once they found their favourite, they wouldn’t play with any of the others.

Favs 10 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 11 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Catch 1 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Bionic had said that they wanted some on green grass. As you can see from all the previous pictures, the grass in the coulees where I like to go have already turned brown so we had to find some places with nice mowed and watered grass.  Izzy and her mom joined me at the park in Sunridge one morning.  It was the perfect place – lots of green space and no people around to distract us.  Izzy was into fetch much, but she was a tugging machine!  And you have to admire her colour coordinated collar – this girl came prepared!

Favs 12 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 13 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 14 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 15 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 16 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Then I kidnapped Perkins and took him to Nicholas Sheran… another perfect location for a little discrete, off leash fun.

Favs 29 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

 

Favs 30 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 31 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 32 Bionic Toys   Part 2 {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Two more days of Bionic pictures to go!  Next up are Kaycee, Piper and Sadie.

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If I had to pick my favourite way to earn a living, photographing dogs playing with toys would be near the top of the list.  So when Bionic asked me if I was interested in photographing their toys, I jumped at the chance and frankly went a little overboard.  But I couldn’t seem to stop myself.  I was having way too much fun.

First up was Skorch – the cutest little jack russell.  His mom wasn’t too sure how well he would fetch but we decided to give it a try anyway.  She shouldn’t have worried.  He was awesome.  And he really loved the little bone.  He laid there and chewed on it with no encouragement from us.

Favs 1 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 2 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 3 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Scorch 1 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Next, I met with Journey and her dad.  I knew Journey from daycare and was sure she’d be perfect for the job.  She is toy crazy and gorgeous – what more could I ask for?  We met down at Popson in the evening and were able to get a few water pictures (the toys float) as well as some silhouettes too.  I LOVE the way the bone glowed orange in the silhouettes.

Favs 1 2 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 2 2 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 3 2 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 5 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 6 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 7 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 8 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

Favs 9 Bionic Toys {Lethbridge Pet Photographer}

These are just a few of my favourites from my first day of shooting.  I’ll share more with you tomorrow!  Lots more to come.

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